Government Considers Taxing Betting Firms to Boost Sports Funding

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Uganda Government Considers Taxing Betting Firms to Boost Sports Funding
PHOTO - Premier Bet - Tayebwa also mentioned that the Kenyan Minister of Sports assured him of receiving over $100 million annually from taxes imposed on betting and lottery activities. Other countries have similarly targeted this revenue source to enhance their sports sectors.
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On Thursday, October 5, 2023, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa presided over a parliamentary session where he praised Uganda for winning the bid to host Afcon 2027, along with Kenya and Tanzania. During the discussion, the parliament raised the idea of taxing betting companies and using the revenue to support sports.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, while leading the session, introduced a preliminary proposal. He mentioned that on the previous Monday, he had discussions with officials from the Ministry of Finance to examine the concept further.

The government is considering a plan to impose taxes on the earnings of betting and lottery companies operating in Uganda. This move aims to increase funding for sports and expand the country’s resources in that sector.



Tayebwa explained that the idea came up after he had a conversation with officials from Kenya’s sports sector, who suggested it as a way to generate substantial revenue from betting companies and reinvest it in sports development.

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He stated, “I made a commitment on behalf of the country regarding the financing of all the necessary items and facilities for Afcon. We will collaborate closely with the Education and Sports Committee to ensure that the required funds are provided.”

Tayebwa also mentioned that the Kenyan Minister of Sports assured him of receiving over $100 million annually from taxes imposed on betting and lottery activities. Other countries have similarly targeted this revenue source to enhance their sports sectors.

Without disclosing specific names, Tayebwa revealed that he had already engaged officials from the Ministry of Finance to assess the proposal as a means of expanding Uganda’s resources for sports development. He emphasized the significant earnings made by sports betting companies, including money that could otherwise be used for children’s education.



This proposal follows the passage of Tax Bills earlier in the year, including the Lotteries and Gaming Amendment Bill, 2023, which imposed a 30% tax on the total winnings from sports betting to discourage excessive participation.

State Minister of Sports Peter Ogwang supported Tayebwa’s suggestion, stating that it would accelerate the government’s plans for sports sector development. He urged his fellow parliamentarians to consider taxing betting companies, similar to the approach taken in Kenya, to fund infrastructure development across the country.

If the government adopts this plan, it is expected that experts from various ministries, departments, and agencies, such as the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Lotteries and Gaming Board, will collaborate to refine the proposal. They would likely conduct benchmarking in countries that have already implemented similar laws and present their findings to Parliament for further consideration and potential enactment.



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